At 501CiO, we believe in the future of associations.


We're exhilarated by the incoming avalanche that is the millennial generation. The comet speed of technology change keeps us looking up at the future like a middle schooler with her first set of binoculars. Wide eyes showing through the lenses, we revel in the galactic sea of knowledge out there to take in.

So we write about it – the stuff associations care about, the effortlessly complex things you want your software to do, the coming expectations of tech users who are your members, and the superpowers you can access to amaze them. So please enjoy our 501CiO Quick Topics articles.

You can subscribe to get them by email here.







Learning from Other iMIS Users

Sometimes you feel like Eleanor Rigby. You know, the lady who waits at the window, wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door. Still don't get what I mean? Hopefully you've heard of the Beatles:

"All the lonely people, where do they all come from?"

Well, you don't have to be lonely with iMIS. There is a vibrant network of users out there in iMIS-land. We're not the leading AMS (Association Management System) for nothing.

Candi at Home Builders Association of Alabama

"Yesterday’s class was really great!" says Candi Stroh. She's talking about the local iMIS User Group meeting we just put on in Atlanta November 10 at AGC Georgia. Candi drov...

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user-groups, NiUG, Eleanor-Rigby, association-management-system, AMS

Thanksgiving and iMIS Tips, Mixed Together On One Plate

The first time I ever lost weight over the Thanksgiving holiday was 2008. I had recently turned 41, joined Weight Watchers, and set a goal to lose 42 lbs before my 42nd birthday. It worked.

Weight Watchers taught me to focus on the white meat, pickles, and vegetables without much added fat or carbs. No, macaroni and cheese is not a vegetable. And green bean casserole and sweet potato soufflé do not meet the "without much added fat or carbs" requirement.

You know you love your job but you love the holidays more. So I'm wrapping a few random iMIS tips in a fall colored package of Thanksgiving keep-healthy tips.

Pie Has a Lot of Calories; iMIS is Now a SaaS...

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user-credentials, thanksgiving, SaaS, purge-script, purge-contacts, pie-calories, pie, light-beer, intercept-page, iMIS, half-sweet-tea, diet-cola, club-soda

Some Stretch Goal Ideas for 2017

Stretch goal has a terrifying definition. It's an objective you can't achieve in incremental steps. Putting in an extra hour by getting up earlier each morning won't get you there. Neither will taking more certification courses, reading more articles, or watching more YouTube videos. You'd think spending more money would do it, but . . . Nope.

For a stretch goal you've gotta, well, stretch. Stretch goals are for the tough who get going BEFORE the going gets tough. They're the prize for conquerors and believers, the ones who don't measure their days in hours, but achievements.

Stretch Goal? But, I'm Tired

I know. You're tired. The chair you sit in hu...

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stretch-goal, power-user, podcast, NiUG, iMIS, goal, freemium, association, ASAE

2017 and Your Technology Plan

November is almost here and many of you have your budget for technology allocated for 2017. You know the power of your association. Many of your members know it. They love you for the educational opportunities, meetings and events, industry knowledge base, certification programs, political advocacy, volunteer opportunities, and the content you deliver via website and email communications.

No one can truly replace you. But there are plenty of for-profit providers out there who are trying.

A big part of out-performing the competition is offering your members self-service, the kind of technology they expect from their association, and showing them content on a regular ba...

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technology, SSRS, payment-gateway, mobile-responsiveness, mobile-optimized, member-self-service, LMS, iMIS, Content-Marketing, consultants, Cloud, Certification, AMC, 2017

Another Award Winning Website!

It feels great to win an award, especially in front of your peers. Maybe you won that softball trophy your senior year and know what I'm talking about. It's sweetchious when you see people look at you with an appreciative nod.

And when the kudos are about a website, two people deserve credit. The client makes the content, decides if it's worth spending the money on cool design, and has the commitment to quality that drives success. The consultant (us!) builds it out with smart technology and appealing layouts.

The award winners were announced at the 20th anniversary NiUG conference in September of 2016 (NiUG is the National iMIS Users Group and can be found at

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WWA, World-Waterpark-Association, website, Toy-Industry-Association, TIA, RiSE, NSCAA, National-Soccer-Coaches-Association, Independent-Insurance-Agents-of-North-Carolina, iMIS, IIANC, Genius-of-Play, Florida-Justice-Association, FJA, Content-Management-System, CMS

ASAE CEO Singles Out Technology

John Graham, CEO of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) came to speak at our September 21 luncheon down here in Georgia. By "our" I mean the GSAE (Georgia Society of Association Executives).

As I enjoyed the fare at Atlanta's swanky Commerce Club, I wondered, "What will the ASAE's message be for us?"

So consider me, a tech guy, at an event attended by roughly half hotel and resort people and half association executives. Rarely is technology the center of attention. That's okay. I love learning about millennials, or governance, or upcoming issues like the Department of Labor's new rules about overtime.

Imagine my surprise when John Graham's t...

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technology, SEO, RiSE, mobile-responsive, iMIS, Google-Analytics, engagement-model, associations, association, ASAE

Lessons from AMS Fest in Washington D.C.

When you get together with a hundred and fifty people in downtown Washington D.C. to talk about associations and tech, you want it to be a lively group. AMS Fest did not disappoint. The crowd was more than one third association people, staff and execs with an interest in the software systems that are supposed to make the magic happen. The other group, more than half the attendees, were software company reps and consultants. They were there to promise definitely, indubitably, with absolute certainty to make that magic happen.

Just say "Tech Conference" and some people (mistakenly) picture a bunch of dull, monotonous Dilbert look-alikes droning on about security, hacking, and serv...

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Teri-Carden, technology, software, ReviewMyAMS, iMIS, consultants, associations, association, ASI, AMS-Fest, AMS

Going to AMS Fest!

Imagine traveling to DC right now, staying a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, with the most controversial election we can remember happening in less than two months. That's where I will be September 15-16.

What's the occasion, you ask?

It's AMS Fest, the gigawatt party conference put on by Teri Carden of It's a geeky gathering of association staffers and executives, IT consultants, and association management consultants and entrepreneurs.

I know. You're jealous. Well, you should come to the next one. The next best thing is me telling you all about it, both before and after I go.

What is Review My AMS? <...

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web-content, software, reviews, iMIS, CMS, associations, AMS

Dashboards That Drive PDQ

Pretty darn quick. That's probably what you want in your dream car. But I'm not actually talking about cars because you didn't sign up for a blog about pimping your ride. No, I'm talking about the dashboards on your iMIS Staff Website.

iMIS Dashboard Web Pages that Show You the Road

What if a dashboard web page could help your association move PDQ into the propitious places of performance perfection? Perennially! I'm saying let's make some mission critical dashboards that run like a Tesla in ludicrous mode.

First, you have to decide what's mission critical. What goals could ensure the future relevance of your association? What ideas could...

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web-pages, relevance, KPI, Key-Performance-Indicator, iMIS, dashboards, associations

Dashboards That Really Drive

It's not every day you get to drive a BMW (or maybe it is, you lucky person). You're feeling kind of electric about the road-hugging performance. Those German engineers! Except there's this one nit-picky thing that bothers you: that dashboard. If only you could figure out during the space of this traffic light how to turn the AC higher. Wait, the light just turned green.

Okay, that was my experience with a friend's BMW not too long ago. And it got me thinking about dashboards, those wonderful software tools giving a quick visual of life and death measurements of your association's health. In your car it's supposed to show you especially the gas tank and speed, among other things. ...

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website, web-pages, iMIS, dashboards, associations